Tuesday was going to be an unusual night for Alexis E. Kim.
Niskayuna's deputy town attorney was sitting in her office, a participant in the live-stream meeting of the Town Board. Supervisor Yasmine Syed also was in Edwin D. Reilly Jr. Niskayuna Town Hall, speaking to a laptop camera as she began the people's business with the other four members of the board -- who all were in remote locations.
As members of the public were not allowed to participate because of COVID-19 isolation rules, Syed began reading 42 email notes -- written by town residents -- during the "privilege of the floor" session of the meeting.
Jorge Blanco's note was one of the first read during Syed's 80-minute oratory.
Addressed to "Whom it may concern," Blanco wrote: "Love can consign us to hell or to paradise but it always takes us somewhere. That love has taken me to Niskayuna. Alexis Kim, will you marry me?"
That's when the unusual night became an extraordinary evening for Kim, who was appointed deputy town attorney last July. Board members reacted with joy-filled expressions and exclamations. Kim said yes to her boyfriend, who was as close to the video action as he could get.
"It was incredibly romantic," Kim said on Wednesday. "I saw a laser point in my office window and looked outside and he was down on one knee. ... I thought, 'This must be what it feels like to be on 'The Bachelor,' which Jorge knows is my favorite TV show."
Kim also likes the message that comes with such an act of love: Hope and good can banish anxiety and fear -- at least for a while.
"It brings me happiness to know that his proposal will be a part of the town’s meeting minutes, which are considered permanent records," Kim said. "If anyone ever looks back on the meeting minutes, his proposal will serve as a reminder that there is still plenty of love in this world even during a crazy pandemic."
Kim, a 2009 graduate of Niskayuna High School, and Blanco have been dating since last September.
"He was volunteering at the Niskayuna food truck festival and I caught his eye, apparently," Kim said. "The organizer of the food truck festival -- Liv4theCure -- reached out to me afterwards and introduced us. I had worked on the license agreement between Liv4TheCure and the town of Niskayuna for the event."
Blanco works as a project manager for Rational Enterprise.
Syed knew the proposal was in her stack of 42 letters. She had checked the emails during the morning to see how many she would be reading.
"I didn't want to have a major preview days before because in the real setting, I don't have any preview what people are going to say," Syed said. "I was trying to be as fair to the process as possible."
There was still a thrill when Blanco's turn arrived for representation in "privilege of the floor."
"I was very excited because I didn't know what Alexis was going to say," Syed said. "I was on baited breath and I was excited for that message to pop up."
Blanco explained the motive behind his move.
"In these uncertain times, I am certain of us," he said. "I could think of no better way to ask her to be my wife in public than during privilege of the floor. I’m happy she said 'Yes.'"
Syed's other email letters included complaints against another proposal: The town Planning Board is considering a housing development that could include an extension of Windsor Drive to River Road. Many Windsor residents wrote against the idea, which they believe will create unsafe conditions in their neighborhood and decrease property values.
Other letters proposed a change in town code to allow small chicken coops in backyards. In addition to egg supplies, residents said, chickens also decrease the tick population.
The live-streamed meeting also was a happy occasion for Frances E. Wall of the Niskayuna Police Department, who was promoted from sergeant to lieutenant. Wall joined the department in September 1985.
Komieko N. Mosher was appointed to the department as a patrol officer. Mosher, a former Niskayuna dispatcher, previously worked as a police officer in the Schenectady Police Department.
Both appointments included swearing-in ceremonies administered by Police Chief Daniel McManus. All officers wore dress uniforms.
Contact staff writer Jeff Wilkin at 518-641-8400 or at [email protected].